Weizenböck goes kaputt?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Hoptonium, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    Happy New Year fellow brewers - many wishes for a better 2021.

    As may be appropriate for 2020, I am ending the year thinking my batch of a Weizenböck went bad early in the fermentation process. Here's the grain bill:
    1. Wheat Malt - 1.8 kg
    2. Munich Malt - 1.0 kg
    3. Pale Ale Malt - 0.9 kg
    4. CaraRed - 0.4 kg
    5. Carafa II Special - 0.2 kg
    I mashed 1 - 5 together in my picnic cooler mashtun for 45 minutes. Starting temp was 66.2 °C, and the ending temp was 64 °C. Lautered to the kettle.
    Then I added the Carafa II Special to the grain bed and mashed for another 15 minutes at 67.6 °C - the brewshop owner suggested a shorter mash for the Carafa II to keep it from releasing too much bitter tannins.

    Hops:
    For the boil I added 18 g of Magnum hops at the break.
    Added 15 g of Mandarina Bavaria at 30 minutes.
    Added 8 g of Saaz at 10 minutes

    In addition, I added 650 g of honey to the boil at 30 minutes.

    I used one packet of Lallemand LalBrew German Wheat-style Ale yeast - rehydrated before pitching at 25 °C.
    It was cool in the basement so most of the fermentation was done in the 16 - 18 °C range.

    It seemed to all go well during the mash, boil, chill, and pitch - I can't point to anything that was obviously different from my intended process, but after the fermentation started I got a strong odor of sulfuric acid that lasted for several days. I searched this and other forums and found a few folks that say this could happen with certain yeast strains, mostly lagers, but also, sometimes from recipes where wheat malt is the major component. Anyway, most of the suggestions were to just leave it alone and let it run its course. I left it in the primary for 18 days and transferred it today into the secondary - the sulfur smell was gone (mostly) and it tastes a bit sour - though not excessively.

    This is my first attempt at a Wizenböck so maybe I'm just being paranoid.

    Anyone have any thoughts on if I have a bad batch, or experience with the sulfuric acid smell that turned out OK?

    Thanks,
    Anthony
     
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  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Sulfur is not uncommon by-product of yeast fermentation, especially beer yeast. It's true that lagers produce more consistently and in greater amounts, but a little bit of sulfur is not a bad thing. Aging will reduce it. The tartness I can't say. I'm not familiar with that yeast. Some yeast do produce more acids than others and it may be your more sensitive to it.
     
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  3. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    I have a wheat (hefeweitzen) in the fermenter at the moment. A little sulfur isn't a cause to panic, especially if it is gone now.
    Of course, what you detect as sulfur may be 'yeast', they can be similar to some noses.

    Sour, no. Shouldn't be at all sour. Your brewing process appears OK, as does the recipe. That is, no red flags. Looks like a dark weitzen beer, the major difference being the honey and somewhat more hops than typical, but not excessively so. I also find that primary fermentation takes 3 to 4 days, and I leave it for another 3-4 days to condition before packaging. 18 days seems like a long time, not harmful but any off flavors should have dissipated by then.

    What was the final gravity? If it went really low then it could be contaminated.
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The umlaut over the "o" is so cute...

    Sulfur from lager yeasts is not at all unusual and is a part of the flavor profile of most German lagers. You don't want them smelling like the gates of Hell but most of the sulfur will clear during fermentation and lagering.

    P.s. There's no umlaut in Weizenbock.
     
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  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Nosy, you are a cheeky devil, aren't you?
     
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  6. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    He used an Ale yeast
     
  7. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    Sulphur from GERMAN yeasts ! And Germans. My Bavarian grandfather had sulphur farts!

    I would not worry at all about the sulphur. The tartness (for the style) is more concerning. Have a couple of people taste it without any hint of what you think they might find. You are likely a harsh critic of your own beer.
     
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  8. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    Thanks Gents, I’ll just let it ride, bottle it and then see how it tastes.

    Donoroto, the FG was 1.010.
     
  9. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    1.010 doesn't sound like an infection.
    Have others try it as noted above, see what they say.
     
  10. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    Well folks, I know you have all been waiting eagerly by your computers to hear the results.
    Unfortunately, the batch is spöiled. The taste was not so bad that I immediately spit it out, but the sourness made me pucker a bit, and overall it was just not a pleasant beer to drink.

    Cheers and on to the next one!
     
  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear:(
     
  12. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Sigh. And so it goes. Sorry to hear it.
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Bummer. You could always call it a lambic and pawn it off on any hipster friends you have.
     
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  14. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    I like the way you think Hawkbox! However, I have already shared it with the sewer rats. :D
     
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  15. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    Be sue to thoroughly clean and sanitize any fermenters, bottling buckets, tubing, etc. Sorry you lost one.
     
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